Living The Rest of My Life Alone: An Inevitability?

I like the background of this photo, the sun shining on the water and the little round house towards the left. Photo courtesy of the


To assess my situation with regards to friendships and the matters of the heart:

It’s very pathetic, arguably the worst of all time.

I’m fifty-one years old, and for various reasons, stemming from being on the autism spectrum and being mainstreamed into the neurotypical community since age six due to my being high functioning,

I have never really been in a relationship.

I was seen by too many folks as being too much of a so-called “geek” or “nerd” to have any girl be really attracted to me in that way during my school days.

And being, according to an acquaintance I had in college, sometimes very rude, and not even knowing it, doomed me to essentially spending my social life alone with a pronounced lack of interested female suitors.

Now don’t get me wrong, I had a few friends in those formative years, some of which I’m still friends with today; it’s not like I was or am completely all by my lonesome.

But as far as romance and finding and having a life partner, though I’m fully aware that I’m not alone in being without a significant other,

The writing is apparently on the wall.

The way that my brain is wired, socially and otherwise, combined with my having been in the neurotypical world for over four decades,

In my opinion renders it more or less futile for me to have any female of substance be interested in me to the point of wanting to spend a lifetime together.

For those who think I’m just playing the victim in a proverbial, “Woe Is Me” way (and I know you’re out there)…

I have to disagree with that, as that is definitely not my intent.

I also know what at least some people who might be reading this are saying:


“You need to get out there and take some risks! A significant other is not just gonna fall into your lap!”

“Why don’t you join some meet-ups or support groups of fellow aspies?”

“You need to make yourself more attractive to women!”

“Why don’t you find a girlfriend who is likewise on the spectrum?”


Those are all legitimate suggestions, but in the twenty some-odd years since I discovered that I had Asperger’s, I realized one particular thing that pretty much took me every one of those twenty some-odd years to realize and accept…


I am not really a people person.


I pretend to be, and have tried to be for the bulk of my life.

But I have miserably failed much too often for those efforts to be effective, as the lack of a someone who cares about me romantically and the fact that I have either been fired or forced to resign from nearly every job I have ever had, never lasting more than three years in any place of employment,

Illustrates the realization that I’m not really a people person, never was, and likely never will be.

In a way, as far as having someone in my life, it’s a “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation.

On one hand, like anyone else with a heart, a brain, and flesh, pangs for female companionship bubble up within me periodically.

But I know that if I did happen to get involved with someone, even someone whom I was attracted to, the way that my natural personality is I’m convinced that it won’t last long.

In other words, a significant reason I have no one is by my own choosing; I don’t want to hurt anyone or have anyone end up disliking me.

And unlike most neurotypicals, I truly feel that I wouldn’t be able to emotionally handle someone I was romantically fond of – if not in love with – break up with me and say “I still want to be friends”, which to me is perhaps the biggest lie in existence.

In short, I’ve found myself choosing to be alone because I don’t want to hurt anyone.

It makes for a lonely life, which being a human being  has not and is not pleasant.

But considering the kind of person that I am, I think that it’s also inevitable.

It would have been nice if my brain was better wired to be able to be in a relationship, but it’s not.

Which is why I predict that I’ll die alone.

Am I happy about it? Of course not!

But I would have also been unhappy if my life trying to have romantic relationships matched my life in the workforce, which ranged from needing to improve to flat-out terrible.

I suppose that’s the way it is.

Being alone is something which I’m forced to accept.

I only hope and pray that God gives me the strength to do so.


OH, BY THE WAY: About finding a female who’s likewise on the high-functioning autism spectrum…

That’s a good idea in theory, except for the fact that males outnumber females on the spectrum by an average of five to one.

Which makes finding a girlfriend in that community akin to finding a needle in three haystacks.

Just saying…


OH, BY THE WAY, PART TWO: I know that many aspies and folks on the spectrum are married and have relationships, and I am happy that they are able to be successful in that.

I want to make crystal clear that in this context, I am not speaking for anyone on the autism spectrum except for one person:




I really like the background of this photo, too, the clouds and the lake and the wide open spaces. Photo courtesy of




The San Gabriel Mountains overlooking Riverside, CA, my original hometown where I spent a happy early childhood. Photo courtesy of



I was having a little trouble thinking about what I was going to write about here, when I suddenly remembered something…

This is my 200th post on this blog!

Spanning a little over four years.

I can’t speculate on how anyone else may think about that, but I think that’s a pretty big milestone.

If nothing else, I suppose it shows how I have stuck to something.

I’m not going to say that a whole lot of things have happened in my life since I started this blog right after the 4th of July in 2014, but some fairly significant things have happened in my life, most importantly…


* My stroke scare four years ago this month, and my subsequent commitment to getting and trying to stay healthy.

When I look at photos of me during the years right before my visit to the emergency room after my cousin’s 50th birthday party, my thoughts are that I look like a combination of a fat pig and Fat Albert’s brother and two other words:

“Never Again”.

Though I haven’t become a complete health nut, I have given up red meat – I wasn’t really eating it for the past few years anyway, so I went ahead and made it official sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year  – opting for chicken and fish (lest I get withdrawals, I don’t think I’m cut out to be a vegan), I’m eating more salads,

And I’ve been on an exercise regimen; doing various forms of abdominal crunches and cardio, including running on the hill next to my house, plus weight training on the Nautilus once a week, for the past four years, doing something, even if it’s only walking and/or sit-ups and a set of push-ups, five or six days a week.

Another thing that’s happened to me over the time I’ve had this blog was…


* I began my own sports fan blog (here’s the link):

For all intents and purposes, SoCal Sports Annals is my own business, which I will have had for four years this coming January; time sure flies at warp speed, doesn’t it?

Although it hasn’t been financially lucrative, my sports blog has been a good way for me to feel productive in society without working for – and essentially being at the mercy of – someone else.

The feeling that my well-being, whether I was able to eat, wear clothes, and pay bills, depended on someone whom I felt I was every bit as good a human being as and equal to him/her in every way, rather than inferior, was extremely depressing and, (I’ll go ahead and say it) suicide thought-inducing.

More than anything else, being a writer has made me more peaceful than I would have been if I had continued to work for a boss.



A good aerial view of my other hometown, Santa Monica, CA, where I spent my adolescent and early adult years (1976-1998). I always liked the view of Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains (top) from the Santa Monica Pier (lower left). Photo courtesy of



* My book describing my being on the Autism Spectrum (Asperger’s Syndrome to be precise), “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”, is more or less done.

It’s just a matter of finding the time to go on and get it self-published.

My commitment to having the book out and in your hands by Christmas has not changed; I have been doing some final editing on different chapters lately, and as soon as I find the time to completely commit myself to beginning the self-publishing process – probably after Thanksgiving and into early December, as the weeks before that will be VERY busy for me on SoCal Sports Annals – you will be reading my lifelong (and to this day) struggles with having Asperger’s in a non-Asperger’s world.

Which I’m looking forward to.


* Of course, entering my fifties and officially becoming a middle-aged person is a big thing that’s happened to me these past four-plus years.

To be honest, my feelings vary regarding the state of my life at age fifty-one.

On one hand, I’m definitely blessed that I’m still here.

On the other hand, however…

Even though I do feel blessed, there’s something about having been mainstreamed into a non-asperger’s world that has made me feel that I have been shut out on and denied certain things that pretty much all of my peers have freely taken part in.

I’ve basically felt that life has been more fun for my non-aspie peers and friends than for me.

I have elaborated on that in “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”; if you want to know specifics, sorry. You’ll just have to read that book.

Or maybe I’ll be generous and merciful and elaborate on these feelings in a future post on this blog.


To wrap up…

Two hundred posts on any blog is a pretty cool milestone.

It’s been a good way to express myself, which is why I have no plans on ending Hartland Chronicles at the present time.

Even if there have been plenty of times where I could count the number of reads I’ve gotten on a typical day on one hand with a couple of fingers to spare.

By the way, I have to remind myself to try to find out why that’s the case.


To state an obvious cliché, here’s to the next 200 posts being as good as the first 200 – I hope.



I know this doesn’t look like much, but this is Van Buren Blvd. in Riverside, the street where I lived from 1967-1976 and spent summers and holidays until early 1981; it gives off a VERY sentimental and peaceful feeling in me. Photo courtesy of




ASPERGER’S RECKONINGS: What If I Were Never Mainstreamed Into The Neurotypical Community?

I like this illustration, showing how Asperger’s and Autism are essentially fusioned together. Photo courtesy of


Recently I was lying in my bed, randomly thinking about different things, when a particular thought popped into my head, a thought that had entered my head quite a few times…


What if, as a person on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum disorder (Asperger’s Syndrome to be precise), I were never put into the mainstream community at age six?

What if, as opposed to being put into a regular classroom from the first grade on, I stayed in special education?

How would my life had turned out?

What would my life be like today?


As detailed in my book, “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS” – which is coming out soon, it’s just a matter of finding the time to start the process on – I spent kindergarten in what was then called a “Special Day Class”, in the days when the concept of special ed was so new, it wouldn’t be made law until 1975, three years after my time in that SDC classroom.

My memories of that special day class were not fond ones, due to being whacked by rulers and put into closets for various infractions as part of a behavior modification program; details of such are featured in “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”.

However, the harsh methods that were used apparently had a good effect, because at the end of that school year the powers that be determined that I had progressed to the point where they felt I would be able to be mainstreamed into a regular classroom for first grade, which is exactly what happened.

Though I continued to behave like an animal at times, my grades were such that I apparently wasn’t seriously considered to be returned to special ed, as I never saw the inside of a special education classroom again.

After 18 years (including college) of being in the educational mainstream and roughly two decades of being in the mainstream workforce, socially and otherwise, I have wondered what my life would be like today if I had stayed in a special education program until age 22, and never saw a regular classroom.



I like this image! Courtesy of



Here they are – keep in mind that these are strictly my opinions:

1.  Though I would have been able to attend a two-year community college, as many people on the spectrum are, I wouldn’t have been able to go to, and get a degree from, UCLA.

2. I believe I would have had a limited social life, as my only peers would have been people on the spectrum, mostly guys as males outnumber females in that population by an average of five to one.

In other words, though I wouldn’t have been shunned and bullied the way I was, I think I would have been essentially, for lack of a better term, segregated and Jim-Crowed into a community strictly consisting of folks like me, plus teachers and supervisors and the like.

Which would have left me feeling extremely bored and restricted while wearing a permanent strait jacket, as I would have felt that in too many ways, the neurotypical world would have been closed to me.

3. I would have probably been in one of those adult programs, where they take groups of folks on the spectrum and with other developmental disabilities field trips to the library and various other places. I would see these groups, which includes people around my age (early 50s) and older from time to time at my local library reading magazines and surfing the internet on the computers and think one prevailing thought:

“For many if not all of those kids in special ed right now, that’s where they’ll end up.”

4. I believe I would have also probably, at best, been in some type of (so-called) menial labor job set up by my adults with disabilities program, doing janitor-type work in an office, picking up trash on the roadside, taking orders at a fast food restaurant or at a coffee-house or – as two developmentally disabled guys are doing right now at a Ralph’s across the street from my house, one of them for around twenty years – working at a supermarket pushing a broom down the aisles and collecting shopping baskets from the parking lot.

I hope no one thinks I’m denigrating that type of work or that I’m implying that such jobs are low-class crap and beneath me, because nothing can be further from the truth.

I’m sure that all those autistic folks pushing brooms, making mocha lattes, and cleaning up supermarket aisles are as happy as clams in mud. I know that there is dignity in all kinds of work.

But though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a janitor or a fast food worker, I would not be happy doing such.

And I’ve always felt that the best kind of jobs are those that make you happy.

By the way, I’m fully aware that many people on the spectrum are doing things like owning their own businesses and are embarking on many professional careers today.

Unfortunately, those options were not nearly as available in the 1970s through the bulk of the 1980s, the time when I was in school.



A comparison between an aspie brain and a non-aspie brain. Image courtesy of



OK, I’ve written a lot here; let me sum up…

It’s safe to say that my life would have been a lot different if I had not been mainstreamed into a regular classroom in the fall of 1973.

In some ways, my life has been better by being mainstreamed; I have been able to do things that I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.

But in other ways, I wouldn’t have been bullied, shunned and misunderstood nearly as much had I stayed in the special needs community.

I wouldn’t have had such a socially volatile experience in school, especially high school, and wouldn’t have had (seemingly) so many of my peers dislike me, reject me, misunderstand me, or a combination of such.

I wouldn’t have had such a checkered life in the workforce, my social issues that were caused by my being an aspie being partially responsible for being either fired or forced to quit 12 jobs in a 17-year span, with three years being the longest I have lasted in one place of employment.

And I might even have had a spouse, like that couple who’s about to get married in the A&E reality show Born This Way.

Please don’t misunderstand me – I’m okay with how my life has turned out, and am quite grateful for all my fortunes and blessings.

But there are times where I just can’t help wondering how things would have turned out for me if I wasn’t mainstreamed as a little boy with a wild afro.

And I’ll probably continue to wonder such.

That’s all I’m saying.


The symbol for the autism rights movement. Image courtesy of



PERIODIC BURNOUT: How I Deal With Feeling Overwhelmed With A Touch of PTSD

For various periods throughout my life, I’ve felt like this man here. Photo courtesy of



Last week, starting on July 31st to be precise, I took a vacation of sorts.

I severely reduced my going online and usage of the internet, particularly for duties regarding to my sports blog,,

Which included keeping up with scores & highlights of the local Los Angeles teams on the site’s Facebook and Twitter pages as well as making sure that at least one or two posts appear on the site and those two pages every week.

The reasons? There’s actually more than one:

  • I was simply feeling burned out and overwhelmed, especially since I spent SO much time attending various baseball and softball games (plus a high school girls’ lacrosse game) in the L.A. area and writing about those experiences this spring – but more important…
  • I was growing a little depressed over the fact that the seemingly so few people were reading the articles from SoCal Sports Annals – and (more so!) this blog – that I posted on Facebook and Twitter; the articles from this blog in particular have been getting SO few reads that it led me to think that people didn’t care, that I was wasting my time.

This has happened every so often throughout my life.

I remember during sixth grade, a year that was so terrible socially for me that for roughly a week I stayed home and avoided going to school because of all the bullying that was being put upon me.

Which was definitely due to my having Asperger’s and being on the autistic spectrum, in the neurotypical world, I know now, though no one had heard of Asperger’s in 1979, when this was all happening.

A similar thing happened to me four years later, in tenth grade, during the first few weeks of high school when I felt that I was being so mistreated by the people in the marching band which I had just joined, me staying  home for a few days.

These feelings of rejection, ostracization and the negative connotations that come from being bullied during those formative years,

As well as oftentimes feeling like I was treated as a glorified slave by a overseer-like supervisor in too many of the various jobs that I had over my roughly 25 years in the workforce.

Would sometimes induce bouts of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, when all of a sudden bad memories of people hating on me and various other bad traumatic incidents would pop into my head; it was all I could do to avoid screaming “NO!!” at the top of my lungs, trying to get those traumatic memories out of my mind.

Memories of feeling ignored in social situations would likewise induce this PTSD, like after people would greet me I would be ignored.

In this particular case, it was a combination of seemingly no one reading the articles and videos that I would post on social media from this blogs and SoCal Sport Annals that led me to post on my personal Facebook page and my sports blog’s Twitter page that I was taking a break.

It worked, I suppose, as I’m sitting here writing this right now.

But I can’t help wondering how many folks will take the time to read this, whether the number of people reading this post will even get into the double digits.

In other words, though I have no plans of ending this blog, my asking myself if I’m wasting my time  will never really go away.

Before I go on…

I want to emphasize that it’s NOT my intention to paint myself in a whiny, “Woe Is Me” fashion, trying to get sympathy.

And I’m not trying to pin this all on my having Asperger’s in a non-aspie world, though that was the most significant factor in sometimes – too many times, in my opinion – being treated as badly as I was in my youth and for quite a bit of my adulthood (I’m fully aware that plenty of neurotypicals have felt burned out, overwhelmed, and depressed,  by the way).

I’m simply telling my story and expressing my thoughts.

I know that any of my fellow aspies who were mainstreamed into school and the workforce in the days before awareness of this part of the spectrum, like I was, can most likely relate to what I’m saying on this post.

While I feel better as of this moment, though I’d love to say that this depression, PTSD, and feeling overwhelmed and burned out on life in general will never happen again,

I would be lying, because one can’t predict the future.

The best thing I can do, now that I’m back to doing my online work, is to make changes that will help avoid another burnout episode, such as not go online at night following teams – expect on very special occasions – like I have done the past couple of years.

And to take more breaks from the computer, like not go online on Sundays – that was my plan a while ago, but it didn’t work out that way. Now I’m determined to take that Sunday break.

It’s changes like that that I think will help me.

Hold good thoughts…


Largely due to being an aspie among non-aspies, I’ve had bouts of this, and unfortunately continue to feel this way , like no one wants anything to do with me, once in a blue moon. Photo courtesy of



If I could read this guy’s mind, I’d guess that, like me, he’s completely walking on eggshells…



I’ll be as cut-and-dry as I can here.

When I decided to change the name of the book describing my (largely bad) experiences with being on the autism spectrum throughout my life to “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS” from the previous name I had for the book, “MY ASPIE LIFE”,

It was for a relatively simple reason…

For as long as I can remember and as long as I have interacted with people and peers at school, work, and everywhere else where social interaction is involved, I have felt like I was walking on eggshells.

Of course I didn’t realize that as a little kid, while behaving like an undisciplined animal at times during my early elementary school days in particular, but I was oftentimes crushing eggshells almost to dust during my single-digit age years.

In fact, I didn’t realize that I was walking on eggshells until well into my time as a technical adult, but that’s what it was.

Every time I went to school or work or hung out with peers, and even to this day, there was a sea of eggshells to negotiate, the only difference being that now that I’m in my fifties, I know I have eggshells to negotiate and gear myself up to behave accordingly every time I go out for whatever reason.

Which as someone with Asperger’s can be quite exhausting, so much so that there have been, still are, and will likely always be a need to be completely left alone after being out and about to decompress.

School, college, and work for me was a pronounced example of me having to walk on eggshells, because I was interacting with people, who in the days when I was in school and college and working for other people had no idea of my being on the spectrum, who more or less didn’t understand my unintentional (emphasis on that word) rudeness and inappropriateness and, in many of those folks’ cases, reacted as expected in the form of ostracization towards me.

Instances of these animosities and ostracization towards me abound in my to-be-published-by-Christmas book, “WALKING ON EGGSHELLS”, as looking back, it seems that my life was full of things I did that induced negative reactions among those who I knew, which explained my lack of a lot of real friends – as opposed to acquaintances – during those formative years up though I believe my 20s and roughly half of my 30s.

To put it simply, I was walking on eggshells with orders to not crack them – and miserably failing to do so – pretty much every day and to this day.

With that being the case, how can I possibly not have those three words as the name of my page-turner?

If you want to know about specific details, you’ll have to buy and read my book when it comes out.

After being busy with articles for my sports fan blog, SoCal Sports (here’s the link – check it out if you’re into sports at all; I think you’ll like what you see),,

I finally have time this summer to do some final (this time for sure!) editing and to begin the process of self-publishing this tome of mine, which I have been working on for years.

I’ll give an update on my progress in this final stage sometime in August.

Until then…


I’ve always wanted to post a picture of someone who’s African-American who also has Asperger’s, being that I’m an Aspie who’s Black. Photo courtesy of




CELEBRATING THE 51st: My Annual Birthday Post

While my birthday plans do not include going here, being that I’m about to become this age I thought this would be a cool pic to put on this post. Photo courtesy of




Fifty-one is not fifty.

I’m fully aware of that and the fact that I’m not celebrating a milestone birthday like I did last year.

But that’s OK, because I reckon when one reaches their forties and fifties – and as the years advance, actually – one feels more and more grateful that another year has passed and they are still on this planet.

I certainly feel that way as my 51st birthday approaches this coming Monday; as always, I’m making it an extra special point to give thanks to God for allowing me to see 51 years on this Earth as an African-American male on the Autism Spectrum Disorder as soon as I wake up that morning.

Especially considering the times we are living in right now, with the leader of the free world who-must-not-be-named – remember, I vowed to never write the name of this country’s president on this blog when he was elected – and his “Make America Great Again” cap-wearing worshipers, I mean followers, intentionally trying to induce misery upon anyone who’s not exactly like them (Read: white, male, straight, wealthy, conservative, Christian, or any combination of those six attributes).

All right, enough about you-know-who!

The biggest thought about this upcoming birthday of mine is that on that day in 1978,

Exactly forty years ago to the day,

I undertook something significant that was a big event of my childhood and served as an influence on my life…

I went to Dodger Stadium for the very first time.

Yep, I spent the day I turned eleven watching my very first Major League Baseball game in the form of the Los Angeles Dodgers playing the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals).

However, if you want details about that noteworthy day, sorry. I won’t share those details right here and now.



A poster detailing all the stuff that happened fifty-one years ago. Image courtesy of



A complete description about spending my 11th birthday at that flagship baseball park will appear on this blog on Monday, my actual birthday, which I think is only appropriate to do.

In other words, I promise to tell all in five days.

For the time being, as far as birthday plans…

I’m definitely NOT planning any kind of big party; last year’s soiree, while enjoyable, was a one-time milestone thing that I have no plans of doing again until I turn 70 or 75 (God Willing).

To be honest, outside of writing about my first Dodger Stadium experience in the morning on this blog and SoCal Sports Annals, my sports fan blog (Here’s the link to that: ),

And eating Mexican food from a place where I have eaten since the mid-1970s along with birthday cake, I am not 100% sure what I’m going to do as of this moment.

But I do plan to enjoy the day, as anyone in that age group and beyond needs to do.

It will feel good to be celebrating another year of life as a black man in America with Asperger’s, as it gives me a feeling of gratitude and survival.

While I’m definitely not trying to tell anyone what to do, anyone in their forties and up who’s on the autism spectrum in particular should feel glad  and thankful every time their birthday approaches.

Why? Because despite any struggles, social or otherwise, that someone on the spectrum may have suffered through, the fact that they’re still here is something to be quite thankful for.

I know I’ll be sure to mention that to God in my prayers.

I also guess that the only thing left to say here is…

Happy Birthday To Me (five days early).

I hope it’s a good one.

And it goes without saying that I hope and pray to have many more birthdays before I’m through.



I don’t think I’m a limited edition, but I do like this picture. Image courtesy of



Another Particular Thought Regarding My Being Of Middle Age

The prefect quote concerning this issue. Image courtesy of



There’s a song from 2003 by a guy named Joe Jackson, a true musician – unlike so many people in pop music today who wouldn’t dream of playing their own instruments and can’t perform without twenty backup dancers and a state of the art system that lets them lip sync to their voice on stage – I’ve been a fan of for decades, called “Awkward Age”.

He’s talking to a teenager in the song, trying to cheer him up for the typical awkwardness that’s common to adolescents, but it’s the second part of the tune that describes me very well now that I’m in my fifties.

Here are those lyrics…


You look at me like I know what’s going on

I’m looking back and I wonder what went wrong

I really thought by now a few things might just clarify

I got a mind that goes out to lunch for days

And a body that sometimes disobeys

I get into the parties but I hate them because I’m shy

Oh my,

I’m still at an awkward age


Although I make it a pronounced point to exercise every week, doing cardio and weightlifting as well as play pick-up softball on the weekends, and eat healthier than I did in the past (I officially gave up red meat last December), I’m not sure if any other verse of lyrics better describes me and my growing state more.

Joe Jackson’s song, “Awkward Age”, from the 2003 album Volume 4. Courtesy of YouTube (click on the link).



As for the parties, last year’s 50th birthday shindig notwithstanding as that was a once-in-a-lifetime necessary exception (until perhaps and God Willing my 70th or 75th birthday – we’ll see), I completely concur with Joe in that while I don’t exactly hate them, I have a certain level of discomfort with them due to the feeling of having to walk on eggshells, stemming from my being on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum – Asperger’s Syndrome to be precise.

If there’s any fifty-something that’s still at an awkward age, it’s definitely me.

I reckon that I’m not alone in this sentiment, as it would be quite selfish of me to see things that way.

I’d like to hear from others who feel like they’re still at an “awkward age” so many years after their adolescent days.

If you fit into that description, don’t keep it a secret!

Feel free to comment below…


REGARDING THE ABOVE QUOTE: This happens to me all the time. Image courtesy of